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UL Lafayette issues student vaccination requirement guidelines

Photo courtesy of University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Students who plan to take winter intersession or spring semester courses at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will need to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Posted: Sep 9, 2021 10:54 AM

LAFAYETTE, La. - Students who plan to take winter intersession or spring semester courses at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will need to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

UL Lafayette announced vaccination guidelines Thursday in a message to the campus community.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and the most powerful tool we have to combat – and end – the pandemic. Getting vaccinated helps protect yourself, your friends, family, coworkers, and community. Individuals who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will help the University community thrive together and thrive in person,” the announcement said.

Registration for the Spring 2022 semester and Winter Intersession 2021 begins on Nov. 1.

The message continued: “Now is the time to make your vaccination plans to avoid challenges when registering for future classes. Failure to get vaccinated or to submit the appropriate documentation for an exemption will result in a hold on your Spring 2022 and Winter Intersession 2021 registration.”

The full announcement follows.

________

On Monday, Aug. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older, and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) granted the University of Louisiana System's request to add COVID-19 to the schedule of required immunizations for students enrolled at all System institutions, including UL Lafayette.

This requirement goes into effect for the Spring 2022 semester and Winter Intersession 2021.

Vaccines are safe, effective and the most powerful tool we have to combat – and end – the pandemic. Getting vaccinated helps protect yourself, your friends, family, coworkers, and community. Individuals who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will help the University community thrive together and thrive in person.

Registration for the Spring 2022 semester and Winter Intersession 2021 begins on Nov. 1. Now is the time to make your vaccination plans to avoid challenges when registering for future classes. Failure to get vaccinated or to submit the appropriate documentation for an exemption will result in a hold on your Spring 2022 and Winter Intersession 2021 registration.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Under current state law, the requirement is as follows:

Students must provide documentation of immunization against COVID-19 prior to the next registration period. Alternatively, students may provide one of the following: 1) documentation from a physician of medical contraindication for the vaccine, or 2) a written dissent for taking the vaccine.

Students have two options to comply with the vaccination requirement by Monday, Sept. 20:

Option 1: Begin the COVID-19 vaccination process by receiving at least one dose of a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.
Option 2: Request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

This requirement applies to all students regardless of whether they take classes on campus or online, except for dual enrollment students. Dual enrollment students are not required to submit proof of immunization but are strongly encouraged to do so.

The process for completing one's COVID-19 vaccination requirement is similar to the process used to complete the other immunization requirements on the schedule that all students followed upon initial enrollment, regardless of method of instruction. Instructions for students to meet the COVID-19 vaccination requirement are as follows.

Option 1: Guidelines for Students who Plan to be Vaccinated

By Monday, Sept. 20, all students (except dual enrollment students) must have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid registration challenges for Spring 2022 and Winter Intersession 2021.

Your hold will be lifted after you complete your shot schedule (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson). If you opt for the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the University highly recommends that you receive your second dose on the recommended shot schedule; otherwise, your hold may not be lifted before your Spring 2022/Winter Intercession 2021 registration window.

How to upload your COVID-19 proof of immunization

If you received your vaccine in Louisiana: If you received all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana, you do not need to take any action. Proof of your vaccine will be automatically added to the Student Health Services’ Medicat Patient Portal.
If you received your vaccine outside of Louisiana: If you received any or all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine outside of LA, you must upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccination card to the Student Health Services Medicat Patient Portal.

Although the Pfizer vaccine is currently the only FDA-approved vaccine, any World Health Organization-approved vaccine, including the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, will also satisfy the requirement.

Option 2: Guidelines for Students who Plan to Request an Exemption

All students (except dual enrollment students) who intend to request an exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement based on medical or personal reasons must submit their documentation by Monday, Sept. 20.

Even if you opt to request an exemption now, you can still decide to receive the vaccine later and update your vaccination status with the University at that time.

How to request an exemption

Complete the Request for Exemption from Immunizations form to request an exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. If you request an exemption for medical reasons you must also upload the completed Vaccine Exemption Physician Certification. These forms serve as the required written statement and/or written consent. Upload the completed form to the Student Health Services Medicat Patient Portal.

Account Holds f​or Spring 2022 and Winter Intersession 2021 Registration

Students who do not follow the guidelines for vaccine requirement (Option 1) or exemption requirement (Option 2) described above will have an immunization hold placed on their University record and may be unable to register for classes for the Spring 2022 or Winter Intersession 2021 semesters.

Holds will automatically be removed after you complete your shot schedule (Option 1) and the Student Health Services Medicat database is updated or after you have submitted necessary documentation for an exemption (Option 2).

Student Health Services will verify all documentation, which may take longer if a large volume of documentation is submitted close to or after the deadline.  Learn more about immunization holds.

Free COVID-19 Testing and Vaccinations Available on Campus

The University, in collaboration with the Louisiana National Guard and LDH, is offering free, walk-in vaccination and testing sites on campus.

The vaccination and testing site is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the former University Bookstore building at 210 E. St. Mary Blvd. The University clinic administers the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. No appointment is required to receive a vaccine. Appointments are required for COVID-19 tests. Schedule a testing appointment.

Vaccination Incentives

Students who receive their first or second vaccine dose on campus qualify for a bank card as part of the state’s “Shot for $100” incentive program. Those who have received both doses can win prizes by entering the University’s “Don’t Wait. Vaccinate!” campaign.  Learn more about the programs.

More Information on Immunization Compliance

Read frequently asked questions for immunization compliance on the Student Health Services website.

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